One thing I am completely fascinated by is history, in particular, the way folks lived the past couple of hundred years here in the States. So I guess it’s a good thing I go to the oldest college in the nation (Harvard sneaked ahead of us and barely got their royal charter before we did — bastards… We were here first!). :o)
And I sat in Artificial Intelligence today (damn I hate that class), in one of the nicest buildings on campus, and stared out the window. Being on the second floor, I could see some white houses across Richmond Road, behind Old Dominion Hall, and I wondered… When Blair was built, whenever it was built, did the students stare out the window and see the same white houses across the way??
I’ve been told that Blair was originally four floors or some such, something other than the three floors it is now, and that’s why you’ll see windows spanning two floors in the stairwell. But then, what did it look like originally?? How was it arranged? What did the lecture halls look like?
And what was Tyler like when it was a dorm?? And which building WAS the original Tyler anyhow? The current Tyler, built in 1927, I believe, was originally the Rogers building, housing the chemistry department. Now there’s another building on New Campus that’s called Rogers, and the old Rogers is called Tyler, and houses the Business Department. I’ve seen photos of the original Tyler, but I can’t figure out which building it was because they’ve all been remodeled.
I’ve seen a painting of Ancient Campus back when the Wren building, the President’s House, and the Brafferton made up the entirety of campus, and there are cows on the campus. I wonder if the cows were mooing all during the lectures in the Wren building. :o)
Then you have the whole issue of the first women’s class in 1918-1919. What was it like to be part of a small group of twenty women to make history and become the first co-ed class? I read an interview online with one of those first women, and she said the women didn’t much think about what it was like to make history — they went to class, they did their schoolwork, and concentrated also on making friends with each other. I wonder what it was like to be one of those first women, dressed in the fashions of the early 20th century, walking across campus. What was campus like? What were classes like? Exams and homework… What did the women do in their free time, and were they allowed to take courses in physics and math like the men, or were they regulated to home ec?
I even want to know what it was like to go to this school just twenty years ago, during the late 70s and 80s. Did students go to the delis across the street to get drunk every Friday night like they do now? There wasn’t a University Center then, or Tercentenary Hall either. Where was the cafeteria at the time, and what was the food like? What were the professors like? The campus was different even then…
Some days I wish someone had done a photo essay of the College, showing the locations of all the buildings at the time and some of the interiors. Or done sketches of the campus for the era before cameras. Or that I had a time machine!!! I just need to remember to program my time machine so that I don’t end up on campus during the Civil War — we had a battle here, and from a sketch I saw online yesterday, the cannon were awfully damn close to campus.
So I guess I need to get cracking and figure out a way to build a time machine to satisfy my curiosity!! :o)